“Joyeux Quatorze Juillet” my French friends, on the anniversary of the storming of the Bastille on 14 July 1789.  

The “Storming of the Bastille” by Jean-Pierre Houel  

Prise de la Bastille

 

A very stirring rendition of La marseillaise by Mireile Mathieu  

English lyrics:  

Arise children of the fatherland
The day of glory has arrived
Against us tyranny’s
Bloody standard is raised
Listen to the sound in the fields
The howling of these fearsome soldiers
They are coming into our midst
To cut the throats of your sons and consorts  

To arms citizens Form your battalions
March, march
Let impure blood
Water our furrows
  

What do they want this horde of slaves
Of traitors and conspiratorial kings?
For whom these vile chains
These long-prepared irons?
Frenchmen, for us, ah! What outrage
What methods must be taken?
It is us they dare plan
To return to the old slavery!  

What! These foreign cohorts!
They would make laws in our courts!
What! These mercenary phalanxes
Would cut down our warrior sons
Good Lord! By chained hands
Our brow would yield under the yoke
The vile despots would have themselves be
The masters of destiny  

Tremble, tyrants and traitors
The shame of all good men
Tremble! Your parricidal schemes
Will receive their just reward
Against you we are all soldiers
If they fall, our young heros
France will bear new ones
Ready to join the fight against you  

Frenchmen, as magnanimous warriors
Bear or hold back your blows
Spare these sad victims
That they regret taking up arms against us
But not these bloody despots
These accomplices of Bouillé
All these tigers who pitilessly
Ripped out their mothers’ wombs  

We too shall enlist
When our elders’ time has come
To add to the list of deeds
Inscribed upon their tombs
We are much less jealous of surviving them
Than of sharing their coffins
We shall have the sublime pride
Of avenging or joining them  

Drive on sacred patriotism
Support our avenging arms
Liberty, cherished liberty
Join the struggle with your defenders
Under our flags, let victory
Hurry to your manly tone
So that in death your enemies
See your triumph and our glory!  

The relationship between countries are like those between people,  Sometimes loving, sometimes rocky, often both at the same time.   

When we Americans want to change the name of F. Fries we should remember that in 1781 it was the French Navy’s victory over the British, and subsequent blockade of Yorktown, that forced Cornwallis to surrender to the American rebels.  

When the French complain that McDo (McDonalds) is polluting their taste buds they should think about the American soldiers who marched into Paris and liberated them from Hitler in 1944.  

Not many French will complain about Louis Armstrong bringing Jazz to their country.  I sure won’t complain about a nation that brought the world the Can Can.  🙂  

All the food critics I can think of talk of the two great cuisines of the world, that of China and France.  

What is your favorite Chinese dish?  

Mine is Peking Duck, a video of one fairly easy American version, assuming your cooking talent exceeds that of boiling water, which mine doesn’t:  

What is your favorite French dish? 

I love seafood and steamed Mussels are my favorite, except of course for Maine Lobster. 

A video by Chef Jean Pierre – Mussels Provencal (Steamed Mussels in a White Wine Sauce) 

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